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Kosovo elects new president

Atifete Jahjaga addresses parliament after her election Keystone

Kosovo's parliament has elected Atifete Jahjaga as its new president, ending a dispute over the controversial election win by Kosovan-Swiss Behgjet Pacolli in February.

This content was published on April 8, 2011 - 09:48
swissinfo.ch and agencies

The 35-year-old Jahjaga received 80 votes, with no votes against, in Thursday's parliament session.

Jahjaga - the first woman to head the state – was a compromise candidate in a United States-brokered deal between Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, businessman Pacolli and the head of the opposition Democratic League of Kosovo, Isa Mustafa.

The Kosovo Constitutional Court had ruled that the February election win by Pacolli, who holds dual Kosovan and Swiss citizenship, had breached the constitution because an opposition boycott left fewer lawmakers in the parliament for the vote than required by law.

The opposition threatened to repeat the boycott if Pacolli ran again.

Pacolli is a multi-millionaire who owns a construction company based in Switzerland’s canton Ticino.

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